April 9, 2013

Gluten Free-er & Cleaner Update

I think I will continue to do updates through April.  I feel like I have a nice pattern of what to eat on a regular basis besides, my posts may get monotonous!  Here are some thoughts I have gleaned over the last few weeks, but primarily, it is deliberate eating and a  focus on being prepared for every meal.  Try not to eat on the fly. 
1.  Begin with a good breakfast:
Make a crustless quiche with any combonation of veggie and cheese.  
My favorites are:
  • Asparagus with Gruyere
  • Red sweet peppers and onions with cheddar
  • White cheddar with red onion and a little bacon
Make a quick omellet with a theme:
  • Cuban style with black beans and cheddar cheese with fresh cilantro, tomatoes & onion
  • Italian with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and fresh basil
  • Greek style with feta cheese, red peppers, olives,  tomatoes and fresh parsley
*Whole grains/yogurt
 Steele cut oats with maple syrup and dried fruit
 Yogurt with fresh fruit & granola

If you are pressed for time...begin lunch preparations the day before or while you enjoy breakfast.  
Lunch ideas can be based on what some of your prep is for dinner. I find this is helpful because I already have the ingredients out.  The focus is on prepping the vegetables and marinating or prepping the meat/protein.  I always make extra so that I can use it for lunch the next day.  For example, last night I roasted some chicken for today's lunches and dinner.  This made an Asian salad with chicken, a Wild Rice & Chicken Soup and some chicken salad for spreading on bread or crackers.  At the same time I eat lunch today I will be preparing the soup for dinner and the chicken salad for the NEXT day's lunch.  I do the same with pork tenderloin, beef and hamburger.
I do always TRY to have a sald with protein for lunch.  If I am out, I go to Panera bread and get their Asain Sesame Chicken Salad and eat it in the car.  
At home I like an Asian inpsired salad or ones that contain  southwest style flavors or a Greek salad.
I don't eat much tuna or processed meats, so my protein typically comes from chicken.  Ground beef is good for a taco salad, but only small amounts because it is heavily processed and fatty. 
2.  Lunch ideas for SALADS
  • Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
  • Fiesta Salad
  • SouthWest Chicken Salad (inspired from Logan's Kickin' Chicken Salad
  • Greek Salad
  • Chicken Salad on lettuce
Again, prep dinner at lunch time or the evening before so you are PREPARED at dinner time.  So often we forget to prep and then we are rushing to get dinner ready.  Use PINTREST and FACEBOOK to find interesting recipes to try.  Stay away from casseroles and fried foods. Look for healthy options that don't contain bread and pastas. 

3. Snacks
I don't deliberately snack and I should.  If I did it deliberately with what  SHOULD be included in a healthy diet, I think that would be best. My tendency is to grab what is around and to root and forage for what is sweet.  I have to figure this one out a bit better.  Combating the sweet tooth.  Suggestions:
  • Raw nuts
  • Fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Sliced Vegetables
  • Rice crackers

In preparation for outdoor dining and bathing suit season, I am looking forward to gathering menu ideas and cooking up the old standbys.  My husband mentioned that it will be nice to get back into the summer routine of eating better;  protein and high water content foods, fresh from the farmers market. I can't wait!
4.  I try to use the following model for dinner
Another salad (maybe something fun and nontraditional)
Lots of well cooked vegetables for dinner.  Tender but firm.  Nothing mushy! If you must have a carb with dinner, choose whole grains and red or sweet potatoes.

Sample Menus from The Rennick Home: Recipe links pending
#1Grilled Sirloin Steak, marinated the night before
Spinach Salad with strawberries, almonds and poppyseed dressing
Grilled Sliced Zucchini
Sauteed Asparagus with garlic

#2Island Pork Tenderloin (can be grilled)
Brussel Sprouts
Cream sauce

#3Shish Kabobs with beef and/or chicken (use favorite veggies on the kabobs)
Caprese sald with mozzarella, tomatoes, basil

#4Sauteed/grilled  Caesar Pork chops
Pure Michigan salad: greens, dried cherries, apples, pecans with a maple dressing
Steamed broccoli with butter and garlic
Wild Rice Pilaf

#5Grilled BBQ Chicken & Rice Salad

#6London Broil
Sweet potato fries
Spring mix salad with cucumber, red onion, asiago cheese and balsamic dressing

More menu ideas pending.  Please leave a comment and give me your favorite, HeALtHy, summertime meal. 


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